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Indian Elephant


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Indian Elephant, Nagarhole National Park, Karnataka, India
Indian elephant at Whipsnade Zoo
Indian Elephants at Mysore, India.
Indian elephant (Elephas maximus)
The Indian elephant is a sub-species of Asian elephant which includes the Indian elephant, the Sumatran elephant, the Sri-Lanka elephant and the Borneo elephant. The Indian elephant is the most widely distributed of the four Asian elephant sub-species.

The Indian elephant is found throughout south-east Asia including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Laos, Peninsular Malaysia, Burma, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam, and although spread out, the wild Indian elephant population is thought to be around just 20,000 individuals.

Indian elephants have been domesticated for hundreds of years for foresting and often battle. There are many places across south-east Asia where Indian elephants are kept for tourists to ride, and are often treated fairly badly. All Asian elephants are well known for their immense strength and friendliness towards humans.

The Indian elephant has smaller ears than the African elephant and the Indian elephant also has a more curved spine than the African elephant. Unlike the African elephants, the female Indian elephants very rarely have tusks, and if the female Indian elephant does have tusks, they are generally barely visible and can only be seen when the female Indian elephant opens her mouth.

The Indian elephant follows strict migration routes that are determined by the monsoon season. The eldest elephant of the Indian elephant herd is responsible for remembering the migration route of its Indian elephant herd. This Indian elephant migration generally takes place between the wet and dry seasons and problems arose when farms where built along the migratory routes of the Indian elephant herds, as the Indian elephants caused a great deal of destruction to the newly founded farmland.

Indian elephants are herbivorous animals meaning that they only eat plants and plant matter in order to gain all of the nutrients that they need to survive. Indian elephants eat a wide variety of vegetation including grasses, leaves, shoots, barks, fruits, nuts and seeds. Indian elephants often use their long trunk to assist them in gathering food.

Due to their large size, Indian elephants have very few predators within their natural environment. Besides human hunters, tigers are the primary predator of the Indian elephant, although they tend to hunt the smaller Indian elephant calves rather than the much larger and stronger adults.

Female Indian elephants are generally able to breed by the time they are 10 years old, and give birth to a single Indian elephant calf after a 22 month gestation period. When the Indian elephant calf is first born, it weighs about 100 kg, and is cared for not only by it's mother by also by other female Indian elephants in the herd (known as aunties). The infant Indian elephant remains with its mother until it is around 5 years old and gains its independence, with males often leaving the herd and female calves staying.

Today, the Indian elephant is considered to be an animal that is in immediate danger of becoming extinct due to the fact that Indian elephant populations have been declining at a critical rate. Indian elephants are thought to be suffering primarily due to habitat loss in the form of deforestation and hunting for their ivory tusks by human poachers.


Indian Elephant Comments (4)

Brentley Fry

"Indian Elephant"

Swifty - Lovatic

"How has the Indian Elephant ‘evolutionary’ change over longer periods of time"

Lajahn

"This was really great you should get this out there moreand maybe people might try saving them more I know i am now cause of this article. :)"

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Indian Elephant Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things...
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum...
Mammalia
Order:
A group of animals within a class...
Proboscidea
Family:
A group of animals within an order...
Elephantidae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family...
Elephas
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
Elephas Maximus Indicus
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to...
Mammal
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats...
Herbivore
Size (H):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
2m - 3m (7ft - 10ft)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is...
3,000kg - 5,000kg (6,500lbs - 11,000lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal...
43km/h (27mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for...
55 - 70 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable...
Herd
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
Endangered
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
Grey, Brown, Black
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Leather
Favourite Food:Grass
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives...
Rainforest and tropical woodland
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once...
1
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Grass, Fruit, Roots
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Human, Tiger
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal...
Long trunk and large feet

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African Bush ElephantAfrican Bush Elephant
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African Forest ElephantAfrican Forest Elephant
The largest known mammal on land!
Asian ElephantAsian Elephant
Domesticated for hundreds of years!
Borneo ElephantBorneo Elephant
The smallest species of elephant!
ElephantElephant
Spends around 22 hours a day eating!
Sri Lankan ElephantSri Lankan Elephant
Now restricted to a few parks!
Sumatran ElephantSumatran Elephant
Less than 2,000 left in the wild!

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